As a First Time Buyer, getting on the property ladder can be quite challenging with the current rates and fees. Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief gives first time buyers a chance to get on the property ladder.

In the Autumn of 2017, the government set out to make climbing on the property ladder easier for first time buyers in this day and age, with property prices constantly rising making it difficult to get your foot in the door as a property buyer and owner. They achieved this by introducing Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief which is only open to first time buyers. This is great because it allows first time buyers to have that option to buy instead of constantly going down the path of renting, which is a nice option when you do not want to be tied down and to be able to have that ability to move from one place to another or wanting to establish a good credit report, but in terms of an investment point of view, it’s not really a good route to take. Investing in your first home, you have that ability to build equity and with your home, over time the value of your property will increase so that when it comes to later down the line, if you decide to sell, you would see a profit from the sale. These are not the only benefits you’ll see from owning your own home, there are many others but the most important benefit from this from the home owners I have spoken to, is having that freedom to control what happens to your property in terms of adding your own value and touch to it like the décor and the landscape, not having to abide by landlord restrictions.  


With SDLTR (Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief), there are some restrictions when it comes to buying your first home. Based on - The first of these are, you are only entitled to claim this relief if you’ve purchased a property on or after 22nd November 2017. The second restriction put in place is, the purchase price of the property has to be £500,000 or less. This means, if your first property is more than £500,000, you cannot claim this relief and standard rates will apply which is as listed in the below table, this data is pulled from On the first £300,000, you will pay 0% and 5% on the remainder up-to £500,000 (anything between £300,001 to £500,000). Also, in order to claim this relief, the property you intend on buying needs to be one your buying as your main residence and not intended for an investment but lets me honest, this is an investment for you, just a long term one from which you will benefit from in the future. Some other restrictions listed below –


  • You cannot claim the relief if you have claimed any other property elsewhere in the world or acquired by inheritance or a gift.
  • The Purchase must be a single dwelling (meaning a place of residence) and if there is a purchase of several other dwellings in one transaction, relief will not be given.
  • The purchase must be of major interest, that being a freehold or a lease with more than 21 years left to run from the date of purchase.
  • Any Commercial property owned does not matter, relief will still be available as long as it does not include a dwelling.


Now Cambridge property prices have certainly increased since 2015 at an astonishing 8% with the average property costing around £473,390 and with flats and apartments, averaging around £342,120 based on sold properties. Now this puts you in that 5% bracket – Anything between £300,001 - £500,000, but that is not to say you won’t find great properties in Cambridge for £300,000 or less. On websites like Rightmove, you are able to set filters on the price, I suggest you make a list of properties you would like to view and set out a day or two to view them, you will be surprised that these properties under £300,000 in Cambridge are still absolutely astonishing.


Most Cambridge residents prefer to rent due to the high costs of a mortgage and it being sustainable, however with Cambridge constantly growing and thriving, house prices will continue to rise so why not get yourself on this property ladder now rather than later when it is higher and you will eventually see the financial gain of doing so in the future. With Cambridge continuing to grow, watch the value of your property grow with it. I believe it’s all about making smart investments and this is one of them.


How do you get this relief? To get this first time buyer relief, you will need to enter relief code ‘32’ in the SDLT return.


Property or lease premium or transfer value


Up-to £125,000


The next £125,000 (from £125,001 - £250,000)


The next £675,000 (from £250,001 - £925,000)


The next £575,000 (£925,001 - £1.5 Million)


The remaining amount (Above £1.5 Million)


Example of rates you have bought a home already –

On a house for £300,000, the SDLT owed is as calculated –


0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £50,000 = £2,500

Total SDTL = £5,000


For more information on SDLT Relief, visit

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